Skip to main content

Full text of "NightRider"

See other formats


248

She addressed herself to Mr. Munn: "Won't you have
some pickled peaches?" And she held the dish toward him.
Then to her father she said: *4 Why don't you admit it, papa?
I know all about it, anyway."

" You don't understand.   Not a thing."

" It's plain, anyway," she retorted, and laughed. " I don't
mind. I really don't. That is, if it's what you've got to do."
She turned serious, and looked directly at her father, whose
heavy fist lay on the table with the fork it clutched pointing
upward.

" It's not a thing for womenfolks to be messing in," he told
her.

" I don't mind about you," she said. " If I were a man, I'd
probably be in myself."

Mr. Munn looked soberly across the table at her. The
lamp-light falling on her face made the flesh take a golden
tinge. He knew that her eyes were blue, but in that light he
could not really make out their colour, they appeared so dark
and deep. " If you were in," he said slowly, " you might not
find it very pretty."

" I wouldn't expect to," she returned.   " I'm not a child."

"Pretty!" Mr. Christian exclaimed, and the haft of the
fork he clutched struck hard on the table. "Well, it ain't
very pretty either that it's been ten years since tobacco got a
fair price, and the land in this section's all mortgaged, and
half the folks nigh starving. I'd do anything I could lay my
hand to. Before God I would, and I don't care who knows
it!" He scraped his chair back, and rose abruptly to his feet.
He said, " There comes a time."

" Sit down, papa," Lucille Christian commanded in a differ-
ent, and quiet, voice. "Sit down, and finish your coffee. I
know."

He sank slowly back into his chair. During the rest of the
meal he did not speak another word. Then, afterward, he
said that if he was going to be up late the next night he'd
better be getting to bed, and clumped upstairs. Mr. Munn
and his daughter had followed him into the hall, where he